An unfortunate reality is that as we grow older, many of us lose the capacity to care for our own well-being. For instance, we might need help to carrying out our daily routines, making decisions, or protecting our legal rights. In any of these situations, concerned family members and friends usually have the right to petition a court and appoint someone known as a guardian. When a person becomes a guardian, they are entitled to act on behalf of a subject and must work to protect this person’s best interests.
Fortunately, a dedicated trusts and estates attorney might be able to help if you suspect that a friend or family member is no longer able to care for themselves. A Mount Laurel guardianship lawyer could explain your duties, outline the relevant legal processes, answer questions, and help you resolve any issues that arise.
The Basics of Guardianship Protection
There are many different situations where guardianship becomes a powerful option for a family in need. Additionally, there are two forms of this protection; their uses depend on the circumstances. The first, known as general guardianship, allows an approved individual to take control of every aspect of a subject’s life. Meanwhile, limited guardianship refers to when a court grants someone the authority to make some, but not all decisions.
In both cases, the court places the burden on the person seeking guardianship to prove that being appointed is necessary. According to New Jersey Revised Statute § 3B:12-24.1, the potential guardian must transparently demonstrate that the subject is incapacitated, suffering from an intellectual or physical condition that impairs their ability to manage their own affairs.
Family members usually accomplish this by collecting detailed evidence, such as doctor’s notes concerning the alleged disability and information about why the proposed guardian would be suited to serve in this role. If someone needs assistance with this, a dedicated Mount Laurel attorney could gather relevant information and help prove that guardianship would benefit the potential subject.
A Guardian’s Duties Under Law
Once a person is officially appointed as a guardian, it is crucial for them to remember that they must act solely in the interests of the person they are representing. Generally speaking, this means acting as a reasonable person would to protect the welfare and legal rights of this individual. To be more specific, N.J. Rev. Stat. § 3B:12-57 requires a guardian to:
- Establish the subject’s home
- Personally visit this person no less frequently than once every three months
- Provide for the care, health, and maintenance of the subject
- Obtain medical care for the individual
- Reasonably care for the subject’s property and assets
To ensure compliance with these obligations, the court may order a guardian to provide a bond to the court. If the guardian fails in their duties, the court might forfeit this bond. A seasoned lawyer in Mount Laurel could provide more information guardianship obligations and answer questions if duties are not clear.
Reach Out to a Mount Laurel Guardianship Attorney Today
If you recently noticed that a loved one or family member is struggling to adequately care for themselves, you should consider pursuing the guardianship protection. Acting quickly is important since guardianship could help ensure that a loved one does not lose control of finances, property, or business arrangements.
Establishing guardianship can be a challenge for people without experience, but a seasoned legal representative is here to help. A Mount Laurel guardianship lawyer could help you demonstrate the necessity of your appointment, submit an application to court, and explain all your legal obligations under the status. To learn more, call and schedule a consultation today.